Ishiyama-dera Temple is famous as the place where Lady Murasaki wrote The Tale of Genji in the early 11th century. The main hall has a life-sized model of the author sitting at the table, and the attached museum shows beautiful illustrated books and scrolls of the novel on display.
Apart from the connection of Lady Murasaki, the temple has lots of delightful paths in its vast grounds and great views of Lake Biwa. Cherry blossoms in spring, fireworks in summer, and foliage colors in autumn are all fascinating. During the mid-autumn festival around a full-moon day, thousands of lantern are lit up along the walkways and staircases. It is worth a short train trip from Kyoto.
Purposecherry blossom viewing
Airport/Sta.Osaka International Airport (about 46.4km) Google Transit
We guide this spot.
5.0a month ago
A little away from Kyoto city center but this temple is one of the best hidden area to visit in this area.
4.010 months ago
Nice Buddhism temple. One of the oldest 33 Buddhism temples in west Japan. Near Lake Biwa with very nice scenic road around the lake.
5.09 months ago
Excellent mix of the Buddhist temple, building, and Japanese garden, with large yard- its beauty in Spring and Fall seasons. Any visitors who want to see cherry blossom, Ishiyama-dera Temple is one of the top choices in greater Kyoto area, because it is NOT known to many foreign tourists who generally stay inside Kyoto city limit. Not crowded with noisy foreign tourists, it is a perfect place to enjoy Buddhism serenity and beauty, while it does develop and expand its garden area year by year in recent few years. While most of famous temples in Kyoto area are generally crowded with tourists who may not have a fun or real visiting experience, Ishiyama-dera Temple can offer a peaceful refugee for the tourists who can visit the temple easily by taking Kyoto subway and transfer to another commuter train and get off at the last stop. Just a few minutes of short walking along the river, visitors can reach the temple. Because some of the temple halls are located at mountain area, mountain climb is essential, and temple does offer wood stick or cane for the seniors who may need them as mountain climbing assistant tools. There is NO food stand or store inside the temple area, but there are a few gift shops and food stores in front of the gate area, and price is relatively reasonable.
Tourists may visit Ishiyama-dera Temple with Mii-Dera Temple together when both temples can be reached by the same train, although Mii-Dera Temple does require longer walking distance for the tourists from the train station.
5.0a year ago
The Tale of Genji was written by Murasakishikibu here. Great shingon-sect temple with massive garden and interesting structure of rock formation.
5.0a week ago